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Death Records

Ancestor Death Record Finder

copyright Lorine McGinnis Schulze
Olive Tree Genealogy

Can't find your ancestor in death records?

Most genealogists search death records such as Cemetery records, Obituaries and Vital Stats (Death Registrations or Certificates). If we don't find our ancestor in one of those death records, we're stuck! Where to search next? My ADF (Ancestor Death Finder) can help.

What happens when a loved one dies? What events take place around the death of a family member? What kind of death record paper trail is created on the death of an individual? The answers to these questions will lead you to other sources of death records and hopefully end that brick-wall.

When an ancestor dies, many records of that death might be created. Let's talk about records kept before an ancestor death and those created after a death.

Was your ancestor ill before death?

Look for records of your ancestor in health care records before death

Your Ancestor Dies - what happens now?

Depending on the type of death (accident, suicide, murder) an inquest might be held. A coroner's report might be filed. There may be a newspaper account of the death. There will be a doctor certificate of death and possibly registration of the death.

Look for death records in

Friends and relatives have to be notified

Look for death records in

Arrangements have to be made for a funeral

A coffin is needed. Let's look at the kinds of death records that can result from arranging a funeral

Your ancestor has to be buried.

A monument or gravestone might be purchased, What kinds of burial records might be found?

The funeral is over, your ancestor is buried, what happens next?

Look for death records in
  • Thank you from family for support shown placed in local newspapers
  • Will is probated
  • Debts If the person had debts they may have had to be settled
  • Land Records - property may have to be transferred
  • Orphan records and Guardianship Papers may be filed if minor children are left as orphans
  • Insurance Claims [$] may be made. These often include age, date of death and cause of death
  • Family members may make an entry in a Family Bible recording the death
  • Memorial Death Cards may be sent out one year after the death
  • Diary or Journal Family members or friends may record the death in a diary or journal
  • Letters about the death may be sent out by family or friends. Also see Past Voices - Letters Home

Death Records for Military or Criminals

If your ancestor was in the military or was killed during a war, you might find him in Military Death Records such as: If your ancestor died or was killed while in prison, you may want to search Criminal Death Records such as: Get Help finding Ancestors with Ancestor Birth Record Finder | Ancestor Marriage Record Finder | Ancestor Death Record Finder
 

 
 

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